Obama originally sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner requesting to address a joint session of Congress at 6 P.M. (Mountain time) on September 7. Boehner responded with a no, saying that the speech would interfere with a planned Republican presidential debate. He requested that Obama move the speech back one day, to September 8.
Boehner did not mention the Republican debate as his reason but blamed it on votes scheduled.
"It is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening, when we can ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks," he wrote in a letter.
"For several hours, the day turned into a very public game of chicken," the New York Times reports.
Republican leaders accused Obama of trying to steal attention away from the debate. The White House said it had not meant to schedule its address at the same time as a presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Library in California. This will be the first time Texas Gov. Rick Perry will debate the other possible Republican presidential nominees.
Obama is expected to use the speech to outline his jobs-creation program, BBC reports. Unemployment in the United States is likely to dominate the 2012 presidential election.
By late Wednesday, Obama agreed to move his speech to Thursday. The White House issued a statement saying that Obama “is focused on the urgent need to create jobs and grow our economy" and “welcomes the opportunity to address a joint session of Congress on Thursday, Sept. 8.”
Moving the speech to Thursday, September 8, means it will coincide with a season-opening NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints, BBC states..